Managing pension, profit sharing, and 401(k) plans are increasingly time consuming, complex and confusing. Plan sponsors face and address a dynamic and challenging environment with fiduciary liability, complex laws and regulations, lack of fee transparency, conflicts of interest, and increased scrutiny by investors and regulators. To maintain a qualified plan's compliance while managing costs effectively, many companies have turned to the services of ERISA Wise, LLC to help mitigate their fiduciary responsibilities.
Our Core Values
Our Value To You
Our firm is designed to take care of our clients by mitigating their fiduciary responsibilities throughout the life of their tax qualified plan.
Stephanie A. Banister is the Managing Member of ERISA Wise, LLC. Her area of expertise focuses on mitigating fiduciary responsibilities and retirement readiness. Her deep experience as a fiduciary involving many complex cases has resulted in a strong success record.
Ms. Banister is an Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent and an Enrolled Agent who is allowed to practice before the Internal Revenue Service. Ms. Banister is also a Qualified Pension Administrator as designated by the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries. With over a decade of experience working in the pension industry, Ms. Banister’s efforts have been documented in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine. Ms. Banister deeply believes that everyone should have the opportunity to retire in dignity, and not despair.
The term "ERISA 3(16)" is derived from Section 3(16) of ERISA, which defines the term "administrator" as one who is so designated by the plan document. If the plan document does not designate a plan administrator, the responsibilities fall squarely on the shoulders of the plan sponsor (also known as the "employer").
Certain responsibilities of the ERISA 3(16) are fiduciary in nature, while others are ministerial (non-fiduciary). The ministerial responsibilities include:
Examples of administrative tasks involving the exercise of discretion and control include:
Plan Management and Administration
Operation of the Plan
The following are likely candidates who should consider hiring ERISA Wise, LLC as the ERISA 3(16) for their tax qualified plan:
ERISA Wise, LLC is not a Third Party Administrator.
ERISA Wise, LLC is a fiduciary service for employer-sponsored retirement plans.
ERISA Wise, LLC is independent of any insurance or investment firm.
"A decision to hire a 3(16) fiduciary should be made prudently and solely in the interest of plan participants. As part of its decision-making process, it is important for the plan sponsor to establish and follow a procedure that satisfies the requirements of ERISA. According to the DOL, the plan sponsor must engage in an "objective process" designed to elicit the information necessary to evaluate the following three criteria:
(1) the qualifications of the service provider,
(2) the quality of services provided, and
(3) the reasonableness of the provider's fees in light of the services provided".
DOL Advisory Opinion 2002-08A. See also DOL Field Assistance Bulletin 2002-3